Monday, June 29, 2009

16 Week Appointment and Great Giveaway!

Brandy: Today was my 16 week appointment with my new midwife Dinah. I really do LOVE her! She sat with me for an hour and a half getting to know me and all about my pregnancy. Everything checked out very well. After talking, I jumped up on the exam table for my physical checkup. My fundal height is 17.5 cm, and the baby's heartbeat was 130-140 BPM. Dinah also took blood for a quad screen at my request. The results should be back later this week. She gave me the card for her back up physician to call for our 20 week sonogram. She told me to wait until 18 weeks, and then give him a call to make the appointment. It will be here before we know it! Brian and I are both excited to see our baby again, and hopefully find out whether it is a boy or a girl!

A friend (you know who you are Teresha) has gotten me addicted to blog giveaways. You can win all kinds of really neat things. I already won an organic baby skin care set. This morning I found out about a really cool giveaway on My Mom's View. Very rarely do you see giveaways with this high of a value! Her website is giving away an organic crib/toddler mattress from Naturepedic... a $359 value! Brian and I are are very into organic products for the baby, and we have been eyeing this very mattress. Check out the giveaway, and good luck if you enter!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A New Midwife

Brandy: Some big news, I decided to switch midwifes and birthing centers. I am now seeing Dinah at Lovers Lane Birthing Center (LLBC). I met with her for an hour and a half, one on one yesterday, and she is perfect! She is exactly the type of midwife I was looking for. Don't get me wrong, Birth and Women's Center (BWC) was nice, but I had a few issues there. One biggie was the fact that they use a drug called Cytotec to progress labor, and I am NOT a fan. I don't want any drugs, especially Cytotec. Check out the following article written by a well respected midwife for more information Once I began to have my doubts about BWC, I asked the advice of my doula who agreed with me based on past experiences she has had with them. She loves Dinah at LLBC and thought I would be much happier under her care. How right she was! Dinah is actually more hands off than BWC in regards to procedures, and the procedures for an emergency (if anything were to happen) are just as good. I feel completely comfortable under her care. For those of you uncomfortable with our decision to use a midwife and stay out of the hospital, I assure you that Brian and I have done a TON of research on this. It is actually safer for mother and baby to stay away from a hospital. Don't get me wrong, they have their place, but I don't think they are for everyone. If you are interested in learning about why we made our decision, check out the documentary "The Business of Being Born". It really is an eye opener. There are plenty of books I could tell you to read as well. If you still have something negative to say about our decision, keep it to yourself. You are not going to change our minds, and honestly I am sick of everyone trying to scare me with their "what ifs". It is not working. I am not scared. Please respect our decision and know that we would not do anything to put our baby, or myself for that matter, in danger.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nursery Furniture - Done!

Brandy: This weekend Brian and I spent a large amount of time putting together the crib, combo dresser (which doubles as a changing table) and hutch (which has shelves and sits over the dresser). It was hard, but we managed to get everything completed! We went with the DaVinci Kalani Collection in Espresso. It is absolutely beautiful! The crib converts to a toddler bed, and we purchased the additional rails so it can convert to a full size bed later. The only task we still need to work on is cleaning out the closets in the nursery so they will be empty and ready for itty bitty baby items! Once we confirm the sex of the baby, we will pick out the bedding and paint the room. I am determined to tackle some sort of baby related project each weekend so the due date does not sneak up on us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Did she guess correctly?

Brandy: Well today was an exciting day. This morning Brian and I got up and had breakfast. Then we had a sonogram appointment. It should have been about 30 minutes long, but the technician took extra time with us. We got in an extra 30 minutes because she was trying really hard to determine the sex. My baby is so cute! It was wiggling all over the place, crossing and uncrossing legs, sucking on fingers, punching, kicking... we even got in 1 good flip! The baby also had the hiccups the entire hour! Every few seconds this tiny little image would jump on the screen as it had another hiccup. While I say it was cute, I am sure my baby thought otherwise. I HATE having the hiccups, so I do sympathize! They could not record the session on DVD so we had to tape it on VHS even though we do not own a VCR. We are going to convert it over soon though. I can't wait to see it all over again! So, the sex of the baby... The technician gave us a good guess, and she has been doing this a LONG time. We do need to wait until our 20 week sonogram to confirm, but I am glad we have something to go until then. Brian and I are both really excited. Did you vote yet? I want to see if all of you are correct!! Everything looked great in the sonogram. We are still measuring perfectly for a due date of December 14th. The baby's heartbeat was 157 bpm... not as fast as the last appointment with the midwife (163), but very close. I have already talked to or texted many of you today, and no one has gotten me to crack! It is not going to happen! You are going to have to patiently wait. I know it sucks, but your faces will be priceless to us when we get to announce to you the sex of the baby after he/she is safely in our arms. I am including 3 pictures from today... 2 profile views and a foot!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

They didn't ask my opinion

Cal: I am always the last to know what's going on in this house. Do you think we need another baby to compete for treats around this house? I am kind of excited, but I need a lot of attention. Do you think someone will remember to let me go out and play if the baby is crying. No! I am the youngest and I want to keep it that way. Listen up baby, stay away from the my tuna snacks and don't eat all of the dry food because that's my job and I do it well! And for all of you stupid humans that keep asking if they are keeping us when the baby is born, the answer is YES!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

14 Weeks and Counting...

Brandy: Well today marks my 14th week! Brian and I talked this weekend, and we have decided to hire Anna Marie (not hippie) as our doula. I am sending off the contract and down payment in the mail today. Some of you asked me what a doula is/does. Well doula is a Greek word meaning "a woman who serves". Here is a great link that answers a lot of questions about doulas - I am very excited that I will have the support of a doula and my awesome hubby during labor and birth. It is a pretty big week for me. Tomorrow I am revealing my pregnancy to my co-workers, and Friday morning we have a sonogram! We are hoping they can give us a guess on the sex of the baby... even if they tell us to wait until the 20 week sono to make sure. C'mon... give me something!!! I have heard from friends and read online that a lot of people are able to find out earlier than 20 weeks if the baby is cooperating. I am keeping my fingers crossed! Also we have the dates of our showers set, so mark your calendars! Our Houston shower, hosted by Chad, Suesan and Mom, will be September 26th. Our Dallas shower, hosted by Nicole and Melania, will be October 10th. Times to be determined... And both will be couples/co-ed showers!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To Hippie or Not to Hippie?

Brandy: Okay, so I mentioned previously that we interviewed 2 doulas last week. I am completely torn between the 2 of them. They are polar opposites in every way. Anna Marie is a very well organized doula. She met us with a folder full of information to go over, a magazine, diaper sample, you name it and she had it. We went over the benefits of having a doula, and how she would have me changing positions every 20 minutes. Believe it or not, that actually shortens labor by about 8 hours! She requires half of her total fee as a down payment, and a signed contract in order to secure her services. She is a licensed massage therapist and was voted best doula in Dallas for 3 years running. Her resume of education, accomplishments and references went on forever. She is DONA certified as well. Okay, so let's switch gears and talk about Mara. Mara is European... Italian born, and raised in France and England. Her armpits scream European (if you know what I mean). From 1972 until a few years ago, she was a midwife. She even worked for about 10 years at the birthing center we are using, so she is very familiar with the center and the staff. Due to this lifetime of experience she chose not to be DONA certified. She is relying on life experience. She will even perform exams during labor before we go to the birth center, which most doulas will not do since they are not trained in that area. She is very laid back in every way you can imagine. There was definitely no folder or resume with her! In fact, she was late to her first meeting with us which was slightly annoying. I managed to get over it once I spoke with her though. She is very into talking about feelings in every form and fashion. Her fee is $100 more than Anna Marie, but she does not require a down payment. In fact, she said we can pay her whenever. She said it is all about trust, which is very necessary between us. There is not even a contract! So, can you see where I am torn? I love organization and folders. In fact, I often thrive from "to do" lists and things of that sort. But being that I am taking the natural route, I am also attracted to talking through my feelings about labor and birth. I think that Mara would be very in touch with what I was going through and be there physically and emotionally. I just can't decide! So, I am going to ask for your comments on this topic. Whether it is just an opinion, or you have had experience with a doula, please give me a little insight!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Blog Design

Brandy: Welcome to my new blog design! Thanks Jessica! I am so excited about the new look and feel of the blog. There are some great new features including belly pics and subscribing by email. Today marks the start of week 13. We ordered the nursery furniture this weekend because it was on sale. We will get part of it next week, and the remainder at the end of the month. We found a site with no sales tax and free 3 day shipping. Yay! I am still feeling well. We told the majority of friends and family about the baby last week after our 12 week check up. I will be revealing the news at work next Tuesday. It will be so nice to finally talk about the pregnancy and stop being so secretive!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Birthing Center Experience

Brandy: Wednesday was our first appointment at the birthing center. In case you did not know, we are going natural and it was a very well researched decision. I need a lot of support and happy, empowering thoughts for this process. While I welcome happy thoughts, I do not welcome any negative, doubtful thoughts or the "Are you crazy?" looks. Brian and I are very happy and content with our decision. We feel we are in the safest possible place to deliver our baby in the manner that we desire. So if you have happy thoughts, bring them on! So back to the appointment... I was excited and nervous at the same time! When we arrived, I had to go through some normal paperwork. Then I was taken to the bathroom and shown the routine for appointments. I get to weigh myself and test my own urine for glucose and protein. After that, we met with Carol. She went through a whole list of things to expect. After all the talking we got to get to the exciting part... hearing the baby's heartbeat! It took a while for Carol to locate the sound we were waiting to hear, but once she did... WOW! I love that sound so much! The heartbeat was 163 beats per minute! The baby was being a bit shy and only let us listen in about 10 seconds before turning it's back and saying "enough". I guess we will take what we can get! We go back again July 10th. My mom will be in town, and is going to accompany me so she can see the birthing center. We are interviewing doulas this week, and I am excited about that process. All is well! I have been getting my energy back slowly over the past week and a half. I am feeling pretty darn good! We picked out the nursery furniture and hopefully will order it soon. I am in total planning mode and I want to get as much done as possible over the next couple of months... before the exhaustion comes back as everyone has warned.